When I buy flour for my sourdough, I endeavour to use it as an opportunity to support British farmers who are using environmentally sound practises on their farm, and have full traceability for the product. I have written previous posts about this but Hodmedod’s and Bakery Bits are two of my go-to websites. They are both under pressure due to the massive increase in demand for flour and it will be interesting to see if this continues post-Covid-19…
Anyway, with this in mind, and having watched a number of people on Instagram mill their own flour, I decided to get my hands on a home milling machine. There are various models around, but as I have my trusty KitchenAid I opted for the attachment to fit on that. It has good reviews, and although probably less in the semi-professional market than say the Mockmill, I thought it a good place to start.
I purchased the Miller’s Box from Hodmedod’s, and my first grain was the YQ wheat. I already have the flour of this same wheat in my current suite of flours and use it regularly (probably more so than any other “min in” flour, as I use about two-thirds regular strong white in all my loaves) so I was intrigued to see what difference the whole, freshly-milled flour made to the process. I think the KitchenAid grinds more coarsely than some of the other mills, but as I’m just making a fairly rustic loaf for myself/family and the odd recipient as a gift, I’m not striving for perfection.
I find the YQ flour to be pretty reactive – so it proves really quite quickly for a sourdough which threw me somewhat when I did a rye loaf the other day as it seemed to take aaaaaages! It is quite noisy – runs at speed 10 – so you may want to reduce your volume for this video…
The flour was definitely more variable in texture to the bagged milled flour I buy, with large flakes of bran through to very fine white particles. Here is the finished article:
I used one cup (250ml) of grain, which produced about 175g of flour, and baked a loaf as I usually do with my usual recipe, so made up the balance with strong white. It responded in the way I would expect from this flour, and it baked in a similar manner so that was good. I was really curious to see what it tasted like!
The aroma and texture is absolutely gorgeous – it usually makes a tasty and delicious loaf but the complexity of flavour is definitely there. I did try some on its own before I reached for the butter dish, promise. The nuttiness really comes through, and the texture was soft with a good crumb. I like my sourdough to have an even distribution of small bubbles rather than the lacework you can find in some loaves, so this is perfect for me. I will try some spelt grain next.
The only thing left to do was to fry up some bacon and slather on some mustard.